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News February 2, 2022

CFE releases new guide for whistleblower protection legislation and policies

The Centre for Free Expression (CFE) is publishing today a detailed guide for evaluating whistleblower protection legislation and policy.  Titled Evaluation Criteria for Protection of Whistleblowers. the guide is a tool for evaluating the adequacy of arrangements by governments and private sector organizations for enabling reporting on concerns about organizational wrongdoing or other information important for the public interest.

 “No governments and few organizations in Canada, public or private, have demonstrably effective mechanisms to ensure employees or others can speak out safely, even as harmful practices are being hidden and witnesses silenced,” said the guide’s authors Ian Bron and David Hutton.

“As a result, those seeing wrongdoing are likely to remain silent out of well-founded fears of reprisal and responsible leaders are kept in the dark – until perhaps they learn about the problems from newspaper headlines or from law enforcement”

The criteria Bron and Hutton have been developed are based on the extensive body of knowledge regarding whistleblowing that has been assembled around the world over the past several decades.

Evaluation Criteria for Protection of Whistleblowers will be an invaluable tool for analyzing federal, provincial, and municipal whistleblower laws and policies, as well as those of private sector organizations,” said James L. Turk, Director of the Centre for Free Expression.

Turk added that, in the coming months, CFE will be releasing detailed evaluations of each province’s whistleblower protection legislation as well as that of the federal legislation.

 “The objective will be to get legislation and policy which ensures all Canadians have the right to speak out about a matter of public interest without discipline or reprisal.”

The guide is available on the Centre for Free Expression website.